Around 800 resident doctors from Safdarjung hospital went on strike again from Tuesday evening,after the Health ministry and the hospital administration reportedly failed to take satisfactory action on their demands. Patient services at the hospital,which had come to a standstill during last weeks day-long strike,are again expected to suffer,with minimum facilities scheduled to run from Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday night,only skeletal services at the hospital emergency were running,with advanced cases being referred to the adjoining AIIMS and AIIMS Trauma Centre. About 800 doctors at Safdarjung hospital went on a day-long strike on May 8,citing long-standing problems in service conditions,including lack of hostel accommodation,security measures,and delay in disbursement of salary. On May 9,after meetings with Health ministry officials and medical superintendent of the hospital Dr B D Athani,doctors called off their strike,awaiting further assurances by Tuesday.
Dr Samir Prabhakar,president of the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of the hospital said: The hospital administration took certain token measures last week to pacify us,but since then absolutely nothing has been done constructively. We had been told we would have a final written submission on the steps the Health ministry plans to take,but that was not done.
Dr Prabhakar said though authorities had called them again for meetings on Tuesday,since no action was visible,the doctors decided not to attend them.
Hospital authorities said the action of the doctors was unfortunate. These doctors have come here to learn and become medical professionals. Going on strike does not solve any of their problems,it only affects poor patients who travel hours to come here,and the doctors own learning gets affected in this manner, Dr Athani said.
He said last week,five orders had been issued to meet the immediate demands of the doctors,including induction of more staff,improving security services,making arrangements for drinking water,among others. It is not possible for the hospital administration to make hostel accommodation available overnight,so we requested them for more time. But they have decided to again go on mass leave, Dr Athani said.
On May 9,all elective surgeries had been put off,and most patients who came to the OPD were referred to the emergency,while many departments did not see any patients. Several patients from the emergency were referred to AIIMS Trauma Centre,where swelling numbers had choked the emergency,wards and ICU.